"Banks want assurances from U.S. regulators that they will not be barred from certain businesses before agreeing to plead guilty to criminal charges over the manipulation of foreign exchange rates, causing a delay in multibillion-dollar settlements," Reuters reports, reinforcing the idea that 'guilty' pleas from Wall Street on FX rigging will ultimately mean absolutely nothing because once the fine print is inserted into the settlements and once the SEC grants every bank's request for a waiver, it will back to business as usual.
An increasingly desperate Greek government is once again playing the war reparations card, this time by looping video clips of the Nazi occupation on public transportation (because no Greek commute is complete without a bit of anti-German agitprop). Meanwhile, Varoufakis says he wishes Greece would have never entered the monetary union.
- The fake: Avon-Offer Hoax Shows It’s Easy to Put One Over on SEC’s Edgar (BBG)
- And the real: US buyout group TPG snaps up UK discounter Poundworld (FT)
- El Niño near-certain to last through summer: U.S. climate center (Reuters)
- Oil Sands Land Becomes Alberta’s Hot Real Estate as Oil Rebounds (BBG)
- SEC a stumbling block in banks' forex guilty pleas: sources (Reuters)
- Pimco’s Stocks Chief Maisonneuve to Leave as Funds Closed (BBG)
- Bank of America’s Woes Test ‘Fixer’ CEO (WSJ)
- Puerto Rico Governor, Lawmakers Agree on Revenue Proposal (BBG)
Was that it for the "reflation" aka Bund-rout trade? One look at German bonds this morning and the sharp, panic selloffs seen in recent days are completely gone making one wonder if the ECB is done selling Bunds the CTAs who were riding the momentum train have all been squeezed out of their long positions and now the trend back to -0.20% can resume only to be followed by another abrupt 6-sigma move as the ECB once again sells inventory to buy itself more monetization runway. As a reminder, the ECB has to buy debt until September 2016 and it won't be able to if the 30-Year Bund is at -0.20% in a few months (or weeks).
What’s left for Greece in Brussels that is beneficial to the country? We don’t see it. It makes us think more of a Stockholm syndrome by the hour. Get out, get your own currency, negotiate a treaty with Italy and Spain, maybe France. But don’t stay in a ‘union’ with outsiders who think they can tell you, Greeks, how to run a democracy, or when to hold a referendum. That can only be a road to nowhere.
Having been 'snubbed' by the new Saudi King Salman, it appears the uneasy relationshipo with our 'allies' in The Gulf is ebbing. In what the State Department will, we are sure, just brush off, Politico reports that the king of Bahrain has apparently also snubbed President Barack Obama, preferring instead to attend a horse show with Queen Elizabeth.
"The head of Germany's Bundesbank ripped into the European Central Bank on Thursday, saying emergency funding for Greek banks broke the taboo of financing governments and it was not up to central banks to decide who was or wasn't in the euro zone," Reuters reports.
Breaking: 5 #Iran Revolutionary Guard boats fire across bow of Singapore-flagged cargo ship, ship fled to UAE waters, no U.S. on board
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) May 14, 2015
Want to know where the USD is headed? Call Riyadh!
Germany throws its support behind a Greek referendum on euro membership while Putin invites Athens to join BRICS Bank. Meanwhile, Yanis Varoufakis has a plan for resolving Greece's debt problem — and he imagines the ECB chief is terrified of it.
- Amtrak train in Philadelphia wreck was traveling at twice speed limit (Reuters)
- The engineer has no recollection of the crash and “no explanation” for what happened (WSJ)
- Taliban claim attack on Afghan guesthouse that killed 14 (Reuters)
- Chicago’s Junk Rating From Moody’s Puzzles Investors (BBG)
- House votes to end spy agencies' bulk collection of phone data (Reuters)
- Wesley Clark: The Penny-Stock General (BBG)
- AOL’s Armstrong to Leave $213 Million Richer After Verizon Deal (BBG)
If you want to know where social Marxism (collectivism) is headed, this is it: the labeling of individualistic philosophies as dangerous thought crimes and tribal communities as time bombs waiting to explode in the face of the wider global village. They desperately hope to conquer the world by dictating not only national boundaries and civil liberties, but the very moral code by which society and individuals function. They wish to bypass natural law with fear, fear that the collective will find you abhorrent and barbaric if you do not believe exactly as they believe. Individualism will one day be the new misogyny.
Looking for signs that the country's largest asset management firms believe a market meltdown may be on the horizon? Look no further than Vanguard and several other large ETF providers who have set up billions in credit lines with banks to guard against the possibility that a wave of redemptions could wreak havoc on illiquid credit markets.
There was some confusion what caused the fallout between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his defense minister, Hyon Yong Chol. According to Reuters Chol was charged with treason, including disobeying Kim. According to Bloomberg, his offense was more trivial: he fell asleep. The defense minister "was captured napping in video footage of the event late last month." Whichever one is true is irrelevant, but one thing is certain: nobody will ever be caught napping at official events ever again because Chol was executed in front of an anti-aircraft gun at a firing range.
Artificially low prices for the metal have forced mines to close in recent years. Supply may not be able to match increasing demand in the coming years.